Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Look Behind

2010, you were not the banner year I had hoped you would be.

But hey, you certainly didn't suck as bad as 2009. So that's something.

This morning, I thought I would dig up my resolutions for this year and see where they stand. This could be affirming, or simply a masochistic exercise. Let's see, shall we?

I started 2010 with the admission that:
there are things that have nothing to do with will, will power or even desire. There are some things that are completely out of one's control. And for a classic type A, honor student, overachiever, that lesson is a damn hard one to learn.
And a lesson that 2010 has continued to pound into my thick skull. You see, this time last year, I was secretly giddy with the idea that a baby just might be a possibility in 2010. As you know, that just wasn't so.

In 2010 we explored gestational carriers, set off on another FET cycle (which we canceled) and came to the realization that we were tired, really tired of spending 100% of our emotional and physical energy on baby-making.

I can sense that some people (mostly those who have no clue as to what any of this entails) are disappointed that it seems like our family building is on hold. But you would make such GREAT parents.....

Uh, yeah. No fucking shit.

Others (employers) seem relieved.

Here's the thing: I am just not in a baby-at-any-cost frame of mind. I am not there. And I don't think M is either. I think there are some things we each need to do to get our heads right before we can jump into all of this again.

I know this because someone (who I love) asked me at a cocktail party recently if I wanted to meet her gynecologist who also happened to be there "because he knows some people who want to be surrogates." And I wanted to scream. Up until that moment, I was feeling fabulous, sexy even, sipping on a carefully made dirty martini, shmoozing, making small talk, laughing, you know, acting HUMAN. And in that flash of an instant, everything I didn't have and everything I would have to do to get it came flooding into my mind and just wouldn't go away. So much for the party. So much for me as functional conversationalist.


If we are to be parents, there are now 2 options that are left for us: using a gestational carrier, or adoption. We aren't there with adoption yet. We are more connected to the idea of a GC. Because we have some gorgeous blastocysts on ice and we may have a potential GC who is a family member. But there are still hurdles (note the several conditionals in that previous sentence). Still obstacles to face. Still many, many things that could go awry. I'm not sure if 2011 will be the year for all of this. I'm not holding my breath. But knowing there is a shred of hope in the air, well, sometimes that's enough to keep from losing it altogether.


So, back to the resolutions. In 2010 I said my goals were:

To have a body I am proud of.
I mentioned 30 lbs as an ideal shed, but recognized that wasn't a terribly realistic goal. Well, how about 16? That's not so shabby, hey? 2010 was the year I emerged as oh my gosh, do I say it? a Runner? This was verified by the fact that I received a subscription to Runners World from my in laws for Xmas. I now have 5 race tags hanging from my bulletin board, a PR of 30:52 for a 5K and my sights set on a half marathon in June. M and I have been doing the vegan thing for almost 2 months now...I'm giving myself a +1 for this resolution.

To continue the process of healing.
We started seeing a therapist late in 2009 and while that was helpful for a while, after a few sessions it felt like she had helped us as much as she could. We chose to say farewell and for a while, swam through our sea of grief solo. We didn't drown, but we weren't going anywhere either. A few months ago, actually before we set off on the canceled cycle, we started to see a new acupuncturist. First me, then M. Now we are hooked. She fits us well.

Somehow, acupuncture feels more proactive than therapy. You bitch, you cry, then someone feels your pulses and pokes you with pointy things. It is cathartic. And the fact that we had some cash in my FSA that we had to use or lose has meant that we have each been getting our acu fix almost weekly. Those glory days are counting down, but we will definitely continue this process and this practice into 2011.

I don't think healing ever stops, just as missing Isobel and Jovita will never not be a part of our days, but looking back on my blog for this year, I think I can see some progression. As our acupuncturist would say, these pulses are not the same as the ones that arrived here months ago. I don't know what that means but I think it is sufficient to get another +1 for this resolution.

To be happy with the thing I do to make money and
To start acting like the director I know I should be.
I am definitely feeling better about things than I had been. After months of studying, I took my CAE (certified association executive) exam earlier this month. After months of thinking about it, I put my name in for a pretty significant political position in my field. I doubt I will get this specific job, but I like the fact that just putting my name out there has been met with first surprise and then support by my peers. I think it might help them see me a little differently in the future - not as a second-in-command-who-might-be-in-charge-someday, but as a someone-who-could-do-this-and-do-this-well-right-now. I'm pretty jazzed that I actually did some pro-active and scary things to get a +1 here.

Now for the hard ones....

To show more patience and compassion - to hear the words that were meant, not necessarily the ones that were said.
Ok, I think I have gotten much better at this, but I still have a ways to go. Case in point: the person who asked us if we were ever going to "try again" the other night almost got a tongue lashing from me. What the @#$# do you think we've been doing, @#$#@#?!?! Strong thigh squeezes from M. were the only things that saved that dude. Another case in point: the martini/surro instance I referenced above - I am sure what was meant was, there is someone here that I know that I think could help you. What I heard was, let me interrupt your awesome night to make you feel like shit. And both of these instances took me at least a few days to pull out of the funk so....hmmm. Can we call this one even?

To pay attention to friends and their needs, not just how they respond to mine.
This is hard to self-judge. I shall await feedback from IRL pals. No need to leave it in the comments section if its scathing.

To minimize envy.
Well, we can't be perfect, can we? I've been struggling a LOT with this one. Note Thanksgiving, Xmas, M's boss who is being induced right now....I am having a very, very hard time stopping the ouch in my heart with the new pregnancies, birth announcements, babies everywhere. I am fairly certain M is there too. Everything is theoretical until the belly is in your face, the cries in your ears. Mostly it is the happy anticipation, the wonder, the joy, and the fact that we missed out on all of that. Sigh. I'm sounding bitter so I'll stop.

Clearly, a -1 here.


So, all in all. 2010, I shall not curse you. You helped us move a little closer to functional human beings, took us a little further down our career paths. Hopefully, you are putting in a good word for us with your pal 2011.


still life angie said...

This is such a rich, incredible post. You are so honest about yourself and what you face emotionally, physically and spiritually. Most of us can't be quite so honest about what we are facing or who we are. I love that this is full of a realistic assessment. Most people tend to either be too humble about their accomplishments or not honest enough about their negative feelings. I don't know. I just think that is an incredibly powerful attribute. Acknowledging and owning all parts of you.

That cocktail party incident was a gut punch just reading about it. Sounds like you handled it with aplomb simply by dint of not kicking the shit out of that douche.

Sending you love, my dear friend, you have been a good friend to me. Now we just have to work on having a martini at the same time in the same place while laughing.

Lori Lavender Luz said...

If I were you, I'd be very proud of all that you've accomplished toward your goals this year.

And here's to a shred of hope. May it blossom unabashedly.

That's my wish for you.


jill said...

Oh boy, I have a -1 in the envy dept too. I wish you lots of luck with that one.

Love the 2011 objectives! Especially the weight loss and half marathon - cheering you on from here! :)

Sue said...

You've really made a huge amount of progress in the past year. Here's hoping to more, and better things in 2011.

Hope's Mama said...

Incredible, honest post. Thank you so much.
I wish you so much happiness for the year ahead.

Danielle said...

What a great list- there are a a few things on it that I just may borrow for 2011, if it's all right with you.

From where I sit, you moved through this year with grace, courage, honesty, and determination to face what life has thrown at you head on. It's been inspiring to witness, even from afar.

Wishing you and M the happiest of new years.

Jenni said...

this is such an impressive post. i wish i could take such a clear-eyed look at my year. "all that it would take to get it" - yes. the infertility bullsh*t is so unfair b/c to get something seemingly simple (for others) requires so clearing so many exhausting hoops. i'm so sorry. we are there too. acupuncture - so glad you found something that helps. i am a big fan of being poked with the needles too. wishing you more hope and healing in 2011. xo

Anonymous said...

re: To pay attention to friends and their needs

Dude I've been blessed (yes I said blessed mf'rs) by your attention, insight, empathy, and sympathy for what's been going on with me this year. ++1

Love, Sarah H.

Silver said...

All the very best to you for 2011. That one about hearing what was meant is a tough one, but well worth it when it works.

Anonymous said...

correction!: *ONE of the only ones*. ;) for our other IRL buds who read this... L.

Heather said...

How many 'banner years' to we get anyways? I think I've had one, maybe two in my 35 year life. You've most certainly got one coming your way.

The tone of your posts have changed dramatically this year, as is apparent by the many +1s you listed. Is it weird for a stranger to say that she is proud of you? Because I am.

Hearing what was meant? Yeah. That is a tough one.

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